Aljafería Palace, Zaragoza, Spain
Zaragoza was a Taifa (independent islamic kingdom) that gained its independence after the fall of the Cordoba caliphate. To assert its authority and majesty, the taifa kingdoms adapted the models of the Great Mosque of Cordoba to their constructions, but supports still a regional influence that crossed across the taifas throught commerce. Although evoking the glorious days of the great caliphate of Cordoba, the artistic taifa models are themselves luxurious and complex.
La Aljafería is set on islamic roots but suffered a lot of interventions through time. After the 1118, it became a royal seat for the catholic kings. Two churches were added, transformations were made to the islamic oratory and even an extra story added. This was also the birthplace of saint Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, known for her miracle of the transformation of bread into roses. It was built by al-Muqtadir, the most powerful of the Banu Hud dynasty, that lasted between 1040 and 1100.
1. General view of la Aljafería.
2. Saint Elizabeth’s coutryard, north view.
3. The Golden Room, northwest view.
4. Entrance to the oratory through a lobed arch.
5. The mihrab, a model directly taken from the Great Cordoba Mosque. Notice the quranic writings above it.
6. Detail from the upper body of the inside of the oratory with intricate arabesques filling the entirety of the walls.
7. A beautiful mixtilíneo arch (composed of mixed lines, sometimes lobed) at the southern facade.
8. Fragments of the support system of a dome that used to cover the Golden Room, with geometrical and naturalistic elements combined.